• In a speech at an AFL-CIO meeting, President Obama stated his intention to continue pushing for passage of the Employee Free Choice Act, which is currently stalled in the Senate. President Obama also stated his administration would restore balance on the NLRB to ensure representation elections were held promptly. The President encouraged labor leaders to get their membership out and vote for Democrats in the November midterm elections. AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka applauded President Obama’s dedication to passage of the EFCA.
  • Frustrated with the stalled status of the EFCA, the UAW is developing a set of principles to be presented to executives of nonunion automakers aimed at promoting unionization of such companies. The principles will include requirements for equal access for unions and management to communicate with employees, and a prohibition on threats, pressure or derogatory statements by or about the opposing sides. According to UAW President Bob King, the UAW does not view its member companies as adversaries but as partners. In a subsequent speech, Ford Executive Vice President Mark Fields echoed King’s sentiments and praised Ford’s relationship with UAW.
  • The International Association of Machinists has launched a website aimed at encouraging unemployed workers to connect with others, become “jobs activists” and increase voter turnout among the unemployed in the upcoming elections. IAM’s “UCubed” project allows the unemployed to connect with other local unemployed workers. IAM also spent $100,000 in television advertising in high-unemployment areas in Pennsylvania and South Carolina during primary elections earlier this year. IAM plans on future, non-candidate specific advertisements leading up to the November elections.
  • The Arizona legislature approved a referendum that would restrict the use of authorization cards in determining union representation. Under the proposal, the Arizona constitution would be amended to require that secret ballot elections be used when workers seek to form unions. Opponents of the referendum see it as a preemptive strike against the proposed Employee Free Choice Act. Arizona residents will vote on the referendum in November.
  •